Ursula von der Leyen, 60 year old mother of seven and German Defence Minister since 2005, is going to fill the role of Jean Claude Juncker as the EU’s President Of The European Commission becoming the first woman to fill the role in history.
Ursula von der Leyen spent the first 10 years of her life in Brussels before moving to England in the 1970’s. She studied at a school under the name “Rose Ladson“ as she was a potential target for West German Left Wing Extremists. Going back to Germany and working with Angela Merkel as German Defence Minister becoming second highest profile female politician in the country.
So far, she has said she wants to “remain translatic“ whilst also “wanting to become more European“ with the eventual creation of a EU army. She would also like to allow an extended brexit deadline if good reasons are provided“ (a general election or a second referendum) although it isn’t fully her decision. In order to achieve this She would need to gain the votes of the other 27 countries for it to take effect.
According to Climate Home News she “offers 55% CO2 cuts by 2030“ by putting together “a comprehensive plan“ “in a responsible way“. Although BBC say “Her points have been heard but aren’t good enough for the green parties who accuse her of being “evasive“ and have vowed against her nomination.“
“We do not hear any concrete proposal, be it on rule of law or on climate“, says Green group’s co-leader politician Ska Keller. “We have been elected on a mandate for change and we don’t see how change will be possible with this candidate“.
Ursula von Leyen also mentioned her plans to fill EU commissioner posts of equal numbers of men and women, asking European leaders to have two candidates for each post.
Her points have generated plenty of reactions, some from former leader of SPD Martin Schulz who had labelled her as “The governement’s weakest minister“. The Guardian has also had their reaction to the situation, saying “Ursula Von der Leyen to replace Jean-Claude Juncker is unlikely to be a welcome development“.
The UK news company Express spoke of another prominent figure Nigel Farage; leader of the Brexit Party who labelled Ursula von der Leyen as “fanatical“ while also mentioning strong beliefs towards the idea of an EU army saying “I am saying to you this will destroy Nato, I think that is very serious.“ “It is in the aspect of defence I think people’s minds should be focused“.
“She’s a fanatic for building a European army. But she’s not alone, when it’s completed Nato will cease to exist or have any relevance in Europe at all.“ Completely contrasting with her intentions of not competing with Nato.
Her goals for the EU and Brexit are risky but effective if successsful. She has won the election but now she must prove she can manage as European Commission President. Only time can tell what the future holds for Europe and Ursula Von Der Leyen. Will she cope in her monumental new role and bringing “a fairer EU into the future“ or will she crumble with pressure and fail?